Montenegro: Montenegro’s National Security Agency confirms surveillance of anti-corruption advocates

Issued by MANS (The Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector)

National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting information on all five MANS programme leaders. Vanja Ćalović, Dejan Milovac, Veselin Bajčeta, Vuk Maraš and Zorica Ćeranić, using Article 18 of the Law on NSA, requested from NSA to provide information on whether that institution is collecting and keeping records of their personal data and if that is the case, to provide insight into this information.

Article 18, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Law on NSA, states that NSA is obliged to respond to written requests of citizens and to inform him or her of whether they are keeping records on them, as well as to provide insight into documents containing collected data, all within a deadline of 30 days.

Chief of the NSA Director Cabinet, Miroslav Bjelica, informed us that requested documentation could not be delivered, as publishing information that NSA is collecting on MANS leaders “could disable, better say endanger implementation of certain activities from NSA jurisdiction.”

Saying that, Mr. Bjelica called upon Article 18, paragraph 3 of the Law on NSA that states that NSA is not obliged to provide information collected on a person if such activity could endanger implementation of NSA’s activities or risk the security of another person. It also states that the person requesting the insight into such information will be informed about it within 15 days.

Having this, MANS leaders are the first individuals that received written confirmation that NSA is collecting information on them, and that they cannot see the collected information thus far as that will endanger the continuance of secret actions that this institution is planning or conducting over us.

However, we still do not know whether NSA is tapping our phones, following us, as well as secretly photographing and recording; if these measures expand to persons connected to us and our families; how many agents are employed; whether our letters and mails are checked, including correspondences with foreign diplomatic representatives, as well as record our meetings with Montenegrin and foreign officials. Likewise, there is no information on how long we are under surveillance of the NSA.

The most important question is how is MANS endangering national security and interests of the Montenegrin citizens and who requested from NSA to start collecting information on us.

For any press enquiries please contact

Vanja Ćalović, Executive Director
T: +382 (0)20.266.326, 266.327
Fax: +382 (0)20.266.328


Support Transparency International

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced

Building on the priorities set out in the Panama Declaration, the 18th IACC in Denmark from 22 to 24 October 2018 will move the pledge of acting together now to concrete action.

A new home for our corruption research

Transparency International is excited to announce the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for our research.

Pardon me? Presidential clemency and impunity for grand corruption

Recent events in Brazil and Peru have shone a spotlight on the issue of presidential pardons in cases of grand corruption. Read more to find out the best practices that legislators can use to ensure that pardons are not abused for political purposes.

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Digital Award for Transparency: Honouring digital initiatives to fight corruption

The Digital Award for Transparency awards individuals and civil society organisations who have developed digital technology tools used to fight corruption. The award aims at strengthening and promoting existing initiatives that promote good governance through three categories: Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Anti-Corruption Tools.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world